How to Grow and Care for Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) Indoors


Asplenium nidus, Bird's Nest Fern

Photo Credit: Jiffy Plants

Botanical name: Asplenium nidus
Family: Aspleniaceae
Common names: Bird's Nest Fern, Asplenium Fern

Description

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) also called Asplenium Fern is a large and bold plant, beautiful enough to be displayed as a focal point plant.

Asplenium Fern fronds are fragile, ensure that they are not crushed and that they have adequate room to develop. Remove dead and damaged fronds so that new ones can grow.

As the plant ages, the older, outer fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain the plant looking neat.

Size

The spear-like leaves in Asplenium Fern which surround the fibrous 'nest' at the center are large and can grow up to 3 ft long. When grown indoors, the Fern can grow to a height of 2 ft.

Origin

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) is native to the warm, moist, tropical rain forests of East africa and Asia where it grows as an epiphyte. However it adapts well to indoor growing conditions.

Varieties

Some varieties of Bird's Nest Fern include;

Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' which bears sword-shaped, ruffled leaves.

Asplenium nidus 'Osaka' which bears narrow, strap-like leaves with rippled edges.

Asplenium nidus 'Antiquum' which bears leaves with wavy margins.

Asplenium nidus 'Victoria' which bears long, wavy, tongue-shaped fronds.

Where to Buy

Bird's Nest Ferns in various sizes are available online on Etsy. Buy beautiful Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) from Etsy.

Asplenium nidus, Bird's Nest Fern

Photo Credit: Flower Power

Asplenium nidus Care Indoors

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) care indoors is easy when the right growing conditions are provided. For Asplenium Fern to thrive, it requires bright, indirect light, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well drained soils coupled with regular feeding. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Bird's Nest Fern grows best in bright, indirect light. Keep the Fern away from direct sunlight as it may scorch the fronds. It can also grow under a grow light where natural lighting is inadequate.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure even growth for the Asplenium Fern. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

For optimum growth of Asplenium Fern, keep soil evenly moist at all times and never allow it to dry out. Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the fern.

Avoid wetting the crown as it may lead to crown rot in your Bird's Nest Fern; instead pour the water on the soil or water from below. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature

The best temperature for growing your Bird's Nest Fern is an average warmth between 15-250C.

Keep Asplenium Fern away from cold draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Asplenium Fern thrives in high humidity. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow the Asplenium Fern in the high humidity areas of your home like the bathroom and the kitchen if there is adequate lighting.

Regularly clean the fronds by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to keep them clean and shiny. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Bird's Nest Fern with a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is reduced at this time.

Take care not to overfeed the Asplenium Fern as overfeeding can lead to deformed and spotted leaves.

Do not put fertilizer in the central cup or "nest" as it can burn the delicate foliage. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Pruning

Pruning Bird's Nest Fern is easy. Remove dead and damaged fronds so that new ones can grow.

As the Asplenium Fern ages, the older, outer fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain your fern looking neat.

Ensure you use clean sterilized knife or scissors to reduce spread of diseases. Also, use a sharp cutting tool to avoid unnecessary injury to the plant as it can promote disease infestation.

Repotting

Repot a young Asplenium Fern annually at the beginning of the growing season. For mature a plant repot when the the roots fill the pot as they prefer to be slightly root-bound.

Use a pot that is 1 size larger and one that has drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can cause rotting.

Asplenium Fern can become top-heavy therefore use a heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over. Ensure the crown is above the soil surface to prevent the fern from rotting.

Soil

The best soil for Bird's Nest Fern should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal. Purchase quality Potting Mix for Asplenium nidus from Etsy.

Propagation

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) can only be propagated from spores obtained from the underside of the mature fronds or through tissue culture.

These methods of propagating a Asplenium Fern may not be achievable at the home front; in which case propagation is better left to the experts.

Asplenium nidus, Bird's Nest Fern

Photo Credit: Plant Hawaii

Asplenium nidus Problems Indoors

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) may experience some problems indoors caused by improper care. They include yellowing, death, stunted growth, leaf spots, pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Brown dots or lines on the underside of fronds

Brown dots or lines on the underside of your Bird's Nest Fern are spores which can be used for propagation. They indicate that the frond is mature and healthy.

Yellowing fronds, brown tips, no new growth

The cause of yellowing fronds, brown tips and no growth in Bird's Nest Fern is too dry air.

To raise humidity for the Asplenium Fern, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Pale fronds and scorch marks

Pale fronds and scorch marks in Bird's Nest Fern are caused by exposure of the fern to direct sunlight on the fronds.

Protect the Asplenium Fern from direct sunlight or move it to a shaded place where it will receive bright, indirect light.

Yellowing and brown spots on mature fronds

Yellowing and brown spots on mature fronds in Bird's Nest Fern is too warm air. Move the fern to a cooler place away from hot draughts like heat vents and hot surfaces.

If the Bird's Nest Fern is also wilting and limpy, then incorrect watering is the cause of yellowing and brown spots on mature fronds followed by leaf drop.

Maintain the soil moist at all times while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Yellowing fronds

Overwatering is the cause of yellowing fronds in Bird's Nest Fern. Maintain the soil moist at all times while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings but never allow the soil to get soggy.

Dying back

There are two possible causes of the fronds die back in Bird's Nest Fern. One possible cause is dry air (low humidity).

Raise humidity for the Asplenium Fern by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

.

The second possible cause of the fronds die back in Asplenium Fern is too dry soil due to underwatering.

Asplenium Fern requires that the soil be maintained moist at all times while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings. Never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Pale fronds and weak growth

Underfeeding is the cause of pale fronds and weak growth in Bird's Nest Fern. Feed it with a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month through out the growing period.

Brown hairy fuzz on the fronds

Brown hairy fuzz on the fronds of Bird's Nest Fern is harmless. As new fronds emerge from the nest, they bring up some brown fuzz from the nest which sticks on the fronds.

You can remove the brown fuzz from the fronds by gently brushing it off. Or you can choose to leave it alone as it will eventually dry out to become dust-like.

Brown shells scattered on the fronds

Brown shells scattered on the fronds of Bird's Nest Fern are an indication of a infestation by Scale Insects.

Isolate the affected fern to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Wipe them off with a damp soft cloth or a cotton bud dabbed or discard the Asplenium Fern if it is heavily infested. Avoid chemical use as chemicals can easily destroy the Fern.

Is Bird's Nest Fern toxic?

Bird's Nest Ferns (Asplenium nidus) are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

You liked it? Share on social media.

On the Blog

You liked it? Share on social media.